Definitely expensive, but tough, durable and extremely user friendly and long-term
Weight: 19g Contact: www.madison.co.uk
A tow bar mounted bike rack is a secure option if you've got a good solid tow bar on your car, and the Thule EuroClassic G6 LED 929 3 Bike Towball Carrier is a fantastic alternative to roof mounted racks which can be tricky to load and can interfere with fuel consumption.
Thule are known for producing some of the most impressively engineered racks on the market, with designs for every possible type of mounting option. The 929 Euroclassic G6 is a flagship model, with a good number of bells and whistles and even more available as optional extras.
It's a three bike rack, but with the option of increasing the load by another bike if you use an additional adapter. It's made predominantly from aluminium, along with other high tensile materials to keep the weight down. It fastens onto the tow bar with a lever, which locks, to keep security and confidence levels high.
There's also a foot pedal to allow the carrier to be tilted out of the way if the boot needs to be opened while the rack is mounted, and a 'stop' prevents bikes from hitting the ground by accident in the process. Bright LED lights at the rear make this a very visible rack.
The 929 Euroclassic G6 comes with three detachable, adjustable arms for securing bikes, which also lock on to the rack using the same key that locks the rack onto the car. Another optional extra is a special arm designed specifically for oddly-shaped top tubes. The troughs for the bike wheels are detachable, and wheels are securely fastened in the troughs by means of plastic ratcheting straps.
Having used other tow bar mounted bike racks, I was genuinely impressed with how easy the Thule was to fit, both initially and thereafter. Set-up was a doddle, with only minor adjustment required around the tow bar attachment, by means of a simple thumb screw.
After the initial adjustment, for every fitting there was very little in the way of the usual balancing act while the rack gets fastened to the bar securely. The lever system was straightforward and allowed the rack to be secured very quickly, with virtually no requirement for physical strength. It locked on easily too, using the 'one key fits all'.
It was still heavy to move around in an absolute sense, but not unduly so, and was definitely manageable. The electric plug was a little bit fiddly. Once fitted, the whole rack felt secure and stable, with no wobble, and being nice and low (a bonus of tow bar mounted racks) it was easy to pop the bike into the wheel trough.
Another optional extra for this model is slide out ramps to replace the standard troughs, meaning bikes can be wheeled up- particularly handy if you are taking advantage of the 25kg per bike limit. The bars adjusted easily and secured to the bike with no trouble as well, also locking with the key.
On the move, there was no worry about the safety of the bikes; they were rock solid and not going anywhere, and didn't cause any noticeable drag. The locking frame bars and the lock on the rack itself gave reassurance at service area stops too, although a visible deterrent of a chunky lock applied just for the duration of the stop was still not a bad idea, for total peace of mind.
There's no denying that £475 is a lot of money for a bike rack, significantly more expensive even than others in the Thule range (like the RideOn or EuroRide), let alone cheaper brands, but this really is an absolute feat of engineering and design, and will last well, giving years and years of reliable service. It's also incredibly easy for just one person to manage on their own, unlike many bike racks.
Definitely expensive, but tough, durable and extremely user friendly and long-term.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Thule EuroClassic G6 LED 929 3 Bike Towball Carrier
Size tested: Standard
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Premium towbar mounted bike rack.
Definitely has a lot of bells and whistles, with even more available as optional extras!
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Made from aluminium and other high tensile materials
LED rear lights
3 adjustable, detachable bike securing arms with locks
Foot pedal activated tilt
Plastic ratchet straps to secure wheels
Maximum of 25kg per bike
Carrier locks to tow bar
Folds up for storage.
Optional extras- for 4th bike, also slide out ramps to load and carbon frame specific securing arms.
Extremely high quality components and build.
Easy as anything to fit, load and then put away afterwards. Bikes were stable and secure.
Made from non-rusting materials so should last really well. No straps or bits to degrade. Replacaments and spares readily available anyway.
Not light, but it's incredibly solid and it's carrying your pride and joy!
There are other racks available for much less than this one, including some other models from Thule, but this is the creme de la creme and should be seen as a real investment for those who use a bike rack often.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Ease of fitting and ease of use.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Very much.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, without hesitation.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Top of the heap for towball mounted bike carriers. A real investment, but worth it if you can afford it.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,